Last May I attended Autism One in Chicago. It was an incredible meeting of parents, advocates and medical experts. A number of parents had their children with them, some severely disabled with autism. I didn't meet anyone there who asked, "What do you think caused your child's autism?" We already know. It's not a mystery to us. An out-of-control vaccination schedule is dramatically impacting our children. No official can explain all the autism at the same time no one seems worried.
Our individual stories may be different, but we've all struggled. We've all had to find our own answers. Those attending shared a huge bond. This is the wonderful thing about A-1.
I was very lucky. I got to meet an incredible mother whose daughter was severely injured by vaccines. Karen Kain's story doesn't include autism but it's one we can all understand. Karen's daughter Lorrin was born in 1994 and was a healthy, normally developing baby until at six weeks of age she received a DPT vaccine from a reported "hot lot" that injured 30 children. (A surrounding lot was responsible for the death of 10 children.) Lorrin was left with extensive brain damage and debilitating physical problems. She was blind and had only partial hearing. She had severe seizures. She was non-verbal and had spastic quadriplegia which left her totally dependent. She endured countless hospital stays, deep comas and months of life support.
On December 22, 2009, Lorrin died at her home in the arms of her mother. And now, through the work of Karen as a speaker and writer, Lorrin lives on. The lessons she taught her mother during her short 15 years on Earth are also for us to learn from. Karen and her daughter had a relationship that was probably much deeper than that of a typical mother and child because of Lorrin's condition. Karen dedicated her life to caring for Lorrin and she believes her daughter had a great purpose here.
Even though Lorrin's life was not what Karen would have wanted for her daughter, it was the one she was left with. What I found remarkable was that Karen is not bitter about what happened to Lorrin because of a deadly vaccine. I learned about how she turned the damage done to Lorrin into a mission.
There are two parts to Lorrin's story for us. Like our children, Lorrin's life was irreparably changed by vaccination. In her case, it was the DPT vaccine. Karen has given us the details (read more at Lorrin's World) in her own words:
My daughter Lorrin Kain was injured by her one and only Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus, (DPT), vaccine April 27, 1994. It was on that day Lorrin became a statistic. I also became a statistic just for being her mother. The government felt my daughter's life was an appropriate exchange for what they refer to as herd immunity. She was sacrificed for the health of all babies. This is rare, right? Vaccines aren't supposed to cause damage. Most parents think that it won't happen to them.
At six weeks old I took Lorrin to the pediatrician's office for her well baby check up. I did at the time what I thought to be the responsible thing; I give Lorrin her DPT vaccination. My life catastrophically changed on that day as I watched my six-week-old, seven pound baby girl have her first five minute grand mal seizure, two hours after her DPT shot.
I signed a form that stated that only 1 in 250,000 children have a reaction to their vaccinations. It also stated that the government steps in and takes care of children who suffer from vaccine injuries. This is given to every parent. It is done casually and quickly. The nurse makes it seem like a nuisance. Most pediatricians will tell you injuries never happen. It is often said that children who have reactions to their vaccines have some other underlying problem that the vaccine may trigger. I have heard over and over how society blames my child for her reaction.
I understand why most doctors didn't want to talk to me about what happened to Lorrin. They would be threatened and looked down upon by their peers for talking about vaccine injuries. It's obvious that kids have injuries from vaccinations otherwise there wouldn't be a federal compensation fund.
A children's hospital brain surgeon told me, "There will never be a cure for your daughter because they will never admit that it happens."
She was only a few months old and there was zero hope ever given to me by any doctor. When Lorrin was still a baby I was told by one doctor, "At least she'll be a pretty retard." I was advised to place her in a home and get on with my life. This is why I had to do so much on my own. I basically had no rules that I could follow. There was nothing that could give me any hope. I also knew that I could make up my own way of treating her disability without oppressive medical opinions.
(It should be pointed out that the United States government recognized that Lorrin’s massive injuries were the result of a single vaccination that she received and they awarded her compensation, yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics continue to tell us that the multiple vaccinations our children receive in a single doctor’s visit couldn’t be related to the development of autism. This makes no sense.)
Many autism parents tell the same story of severe reactions to vaccination, yet they also find that doctors and health officials continue the pretense that vaccines have no serious side effects and that injuries are merely coincidence. I asked Karen about how she was treated by the government during her injury case that won in Vaccine Court.
This was Karen's response:
The government was as uncaring as most doctors when it came to my daughter. I realized that Lorrin was a statistic. My child took the hit for the greater good. I was one of the few cases in which the government said, "Yes, your child was injured by a vaccine." We never had to argue our case about the cause of the injury. The fact remains that I was not treated in a way that would be called supportive or caring at all. I quickly learned that I was the enemy. My child's life was not important and I was not important either just by being her mother.
At the time Lorrin was injured I was a wreck. I had nothing to prepare me for what became my life. I went into a fog as Lorrin constantly screamed and had long seizures daily, often lasting five minutes. She made no childhood gains. There was no internet at the time, and there was only one lawyer available to choose from. There was no due process, meaning that our court case was hidden in an office for no one to witness and no jury. Back then I was just surviving.
I had to ask myself, if Lorrin was the one in 250,000 that has an adverse reaction, then why didn't my family get support? Instead we were bullied and told to place our daughter in an institution. We fought for three days about how much my daughter's life was worth. I had no idea then that Lorrin would so compromised. I still had hope that she would have some chance at being "normal."
It continues to be very difficult today, especially after Autism One where first hand I saw so many affected families. I can't tell you how many times I get an email, phone call, or Facebook contact that starts with, “My child was normal until the vaccinations.” Again it must be said that we all believed in vaccinations or we wouldn't have done it. I trusted that I was doing the right thing, as many parents do.
Today I find it hard to believe that parents ask about the safest car seat or stroller to put their child in, but automatically give a vaccine that is associated with so many reported injuries. I want a safe schedule and safe ingredients in the vaccines that are injected into our children.
More and more advocates for Gardasil victims, for children with autism, and other vaccine injured children are uniting. I for one can no longer be silent as I see family after family devastated by vaccination. I have hope with the Internet and the advocates who donate so much of their time to raising awareness, we will bring about a change. I believe that our children still have a chance at being raised the old-fashioned way, HEALTHY.
I'm very emotionally affected by the Gardasil vaccine issue. I read the new book, Vaccine Epidemic by Mary Holland and Louise Kuo Habakus that had a chapter by Amy Pingel," My Daughter is One Less" and I cried for days afterwards. It really seems senseless that we keep doing this to families. I just watched the new movie, Greater Good and I find myself sinking into a great sadness. My family was destroyed by a vaccine injury. In the Greater Good, I watched Gabi and her mother do their best to survive, as she misses her homecoming dance and the family breaks up. It ripped my heart out. It brings back painful memories. A mother's love knows no boundaries and when a mother is faced with the complete devastation of her child's health, home, and marriage, it's just too close to me.
I feel compelled to do as much as I can to stop the Gardasil madness. I truly believe that if more parents knew what was going on, they would stand up also. Right now, this is getting zero attention, unless you are directly connected to a family affected by vaccine injury.
The amount of money Merck has used to promote this vaccine, the blindness of our government in pushing this vaccine, has even reached the point of it being given without parental permission. This is a very difficult thing for me to be silent about.
There is another beautiful side to Lorrin's story. It's about how a mother was able to give her daughter a worthwhile life where she was both loved and loving. She was happy and fulfilled. She did some incredible things. Lorrin traveled to places like New York, Mexico, Hawaii, and Canada. She swam with the dolphins in Key Largo four times. She loved to go camping. She was the vice-president of her Girl Scout Troop and had wonderful friends to share her good times with.
Lorrin loved chocolate, animals, shopping, camping, and staying at hotels. She was lucky to enjoy neuro-typical friendships; a canine companion named Nicollette and loved her life. Lorrin never complained and was one with God.
It is difficult and even tragic when parents learn that their child has some type of disability. I remember the grief and fear that became my every thought. I had no hope of a future. I cried for days, non-stop. The shock of Lorrin being forever disabled was nothing I had ever thought about during my pregnancy. I remember kicking into survival mode. A few things really helped me:
No one could change my situation. I just needed to have someone listen to me. Instead I became isolated because no one knew what to say.
Being in survival mode for most mothers means that they have to sacrifice everything for their child. That can mean their spouses and other children. I always say the mother is the glue that holds the family together. So I try to remind parents to do as they are advised do if their airplane was going down and put the oxygen on themselves first and then their child.
Getting connected with people who are going through similar situations is helpful in so many ways. The internet makes it easy to do even if you don't leave your home.
Enjoy the moment. There are always good moments to be had. Some are not as long or as typical. Embrace the sweet moments to store in your memory and keep searching for the next. I miss that the most with Lorrin. It wasn't every day or for hours at a time but there was always that one moment that I would look at her and see her smile which kept me going. I remember a time camping at Big Sur. I was alone with her and traveled with all of Lorrin's medical equipment. The effort it took for me to set up camp and all that is needed to make a great campsite was quite involved. I will never forget finally sitting down and looking over at my girl bundled up in her leopard skin blanket as the campfire lit up her huge smile. That moment is held forever in my memory. And to this day still draws me back to Big Sur.
I also try to remind parents to get creative on how they incorporate their unique child. Lorrin loved chocolate, shopping and listening to stories. I often had her in the kitchen when I cooked, putting the fresh basil up to her nose to smell and enjoy. I would give her tiny tastes of the ingredients I cooked with even if it was ginger. She would smile or scowl. I loved getting her to express herself in the ways that she could. I often teased her that she was faking her disability just to get out of doing the dishes. I found it important to talk to her just as I would have with a typical child. I always encouraged her to blink and would use motivational tools like chocolate and shopping to get her to participate in the conversation
I really miss being a mother. I miss Lorrin and the many blessings that she gave me. I thought I knew grief, accepting all that was handed to me as her mother. I somehow thought I would do better after she died knowing that she was free from her broken body. I know she is perfectly happy now, but the fact is I miss her terribly. I miss her love and the beauty of witnessing how she touched so many lives. Even though Lorrin was physically challenged, she exuded the most amazing loving energy which drew people towards her and made them feel safe. It's something that you have to experience to fully understand. Her death has left a huge hole.
There are so many things that Lorrin taught me. The most profound thing was that she was totally comfortable with who she was. I was the one who had to find peace in the life that I was living. She loved God and life.
I learned so many hard lessons:
Do not pass judgment.
Let go and don't push so hard, things have a way of working out for the best.
Random acts of kindness go a very long way.
Each person is important no matter what their ability level is.
Love does conquer all.
Anne Dachel is Contributing Editor for Age of Autism. Visit her site at AnneDachel.com.